The Dark Light of Day
Author:Frazier, T. M.

The woman started to make exaggerated porn noises, larger-than-life sucking and groaning.

 

Flashes of unwanted memories flooded my mind before I could attempt to push them out, images of the endless parades of bruised and naked bodies writhing against anyone and anything they could find. Piles of men and women littering the stained couches and floors, smearing the dripping blood from fresh needle wounds and opening scabs of older ones onto one another as they grunted and groaned like animals. The unconscious ones in the crowd were treated no differently than the conscious. Their wide-open mouths and lifeless eyes staring beyond the popcorn ceiling weren’t reason enough to stop fucking them. They were taken turns with, until someone noticed they didn’t have a pulse. I had witnessed more than one dead body being discarded from my parent’s trailer like an empty pizza box.

 

Bile rose in my throat.

 

The last memory that burst into my head was of the night I’d gotten the scars I kept covered. A burning took over my body when I thought of the sharpness of the knife, and the crazed look in my mother’s bloodshot eyes. My chest tightened, and I willed the memory to leave, but it was too late. I tried to take a deep breath to steady myself. Instead, I inhaled a dust cloud. I tried to stifle my cough, but instead I ended up choking. The woman outside shrieked at the same time, and I braced myself to be discovered.

 

But, the woman only coughed and made a choking noise of her own. She cleared her throat and spat onto the pavement. “You were supposed to tell me when you were close, asshole!” she yelled. My pulse started to race. My hands were sweating.

 

“Oops,” A deep unapologetic voice said. He sounded amused with himself, actually. I heard the sound of a zipper closing. I was going to be sick. I felt it coming up and almost couldn’t stop it. I held my breath and placed my hand over my mouth. I heard the sound of their retreating footsteps, followed by the squealing of the fence as it slid open.

 

The second I heard the gate close, I opened the driver’s side door of the truck, leaned out from under the steering wheel, and vomited violently onto the pavement. My body convulsed long after there was nothing left in my stomach to expel. I wiped my mouth with the back of my hand.

 

Fuck my parents, and who I am because of them, I thought.

 

“Don’t move, motherfucker,” a deep voice growled, followed by the unmistakable sound of a gun cocking. It sent chills down my spine and the hairs on my neck stood at attention. My heart stopped. I didn't dare breathe.

 

With my head still down toward the pavement, I could only see black leather boots and dark jeans. I didn’t look up. I didn’t want this guy to think I could identify him. Those were the moments when shit usually went bad in scenarios like this, I told myself. He pressed the gun to the back of my head. I could feel the cool metal even through my hood.

 

I closed my eyes and prepared for the end.

 

For a moment, there was nothing but silence.

 

Finally, he spoke again. “Who the fuck are you?” His voice was menacing.

 

I didn’t know how to respond to him. Nothing I thought of seemed like the right thing to say to a crazed man with a gun.

 

“Who sent you, motherfucker?” He forcefully nudged my head down with the gun until my forehead almost touched the pavement. I don’t think he was used to being ignored. Maybe, this was the way it was supposed to end. My life had always been a fight, a struggle. Maybe, I was supposed to meet my end in a junkyard without anyone left to care where I was. Maybe, I was just fighting the inevitable by even trying to stay alive.

 

I remained silent and left my fate to chance.

 

“Okay. You want to play it that way?” He yanked me forward by my hood and sent me crashing to my knees on the pavement. I barely missed the puddle of my own vomit. He stood behind me and ripped the hood off my head, taking a handful of hair with him. The tearing sensation from my scalp caused me to cry out. He stilled for a moment before coming around to kneel in front of me. His gun was still pointed at my head, but he wasn’t looking at me, he was staring at the clump of red hair he was clutching in his other hand.

 

When he looked up from the hair in his hand, his jaw dropped open. Our eyes met, and even in the poor light from the motion sensors, his eyes were the most brilliant shade of blue I’d ever seen.

 

Something deep inside me, something I thought to have been nonexistent, stirred.